Bristol university student Paddy Shuttleworth spotted an unassuming grey cotton T-shirt in his local Burton menswear shop, he was surprised by the Cyrillic writing surrounding the doubleheaded eagle motif which he was able to translate. Rather unfortunately, it read: "We will cleanse Russia of non-Russians!"
"I did mention to the girl as I bought one of the shirts, that it was politically probably quite dangerous," says Mr Shuttleworth. The shirt's overall design is an odd jumble of ersatz French logo and Russian iconography, but there is no mistaking the nature of the sentiment.
Initially Burton seemed surprised by the unsavoury sentiment lurking on its so-called Girlaun Print Crew shirt. But yesterday it emerged that the chain had been alerted to the gaffe by a member of staff. A spokeswoman told the Guardian the company had bought 6,000 of the T-shirts from one of their regular suppliers last week. At the time Burton was told the slogan translated loosely as "Be proud of Russia."
The t-shirt has now been withdrawn from sale.
Last year Ben and Jerry’s caused a minor stir over its Black and Tan flavour ice cream. Ben and Jerry’s did not follow up with a “No Surrender” range (orange flavour of course) and it is clear that Burton’s has no plan to introduce an “Arkan” line. I get the feeling, though, that that they will be proof-reading their T shirts in future....